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Trimming, pruning, manicure, how to properly cut and prune flowers

cannabis trimming
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How to properly trim, manicure and pinch flowers

What is cannabis trimming, why is it necessary and is it better to do it dry, wet, manually or with a dedicated tool? Everything you need to know about cutting cannabis and what the experts are saying about it in 2021. Understanding the importance of trimming, knowing when and why we prune the buds before drying and refining them.

How to prune your cannabis plants and the reasons to cut off the buds

How to trim and manicure your flowers? The current standard in the cannabis industry states that the leaves are not part of the product. Indeed the concentration of the active ingredients in the leaves is very low compared to their concentrations in the flower, in addition, smoking leaves burn the throat and give an unpleasant flavor of "lawn" due to the chlorophyll which gives its color to the flower. plant. Because cannabis is sold by grams, it ends up having a certain cost for the user, which is why for producers, the trimming phase is an important and necessary step in the production chain. Even for individual crops, make sure to prune the leaves often to ultimately obtain a better quality of product.

  • "Top Shelf" appearance: Manicured heads are often considered better quality buds. Most of the buds are fully groomed (or at least a little cut off) when you see them in well-groomed magazines they're attractive, that's the look we associate with the " good weed". Unmanicured buds look less pretty to some people.
  • Better smell: Before bottling, manicured flowers take on a stronger odor over time. In comparison, those which have not been often take on a hay odor, a more "vegetal" odor during the months of storage.
  • Easier for the throat: The leaves are "harder" on the throat / lungs than the flowers when vaping or smoking. Removing extra leaf matter makes the buds 'smoother' to smoke or vaporize.
  • Higher THC Concentration: Even the sugar leaves encrusted with trichomes have a much lower concentration of THC and other cannabinoids than the flowers. This means that severed buds tend to have higher levels of THC gram for gram.

Many growers want chopped buds but don't want to waste THC, so they process their adornment to extract the THC from the leaves separately. You have endless options for squeezing the good stuff out of your leaves and other toppings, but my favorite methods are to make gumby hash ou butter and for edibles.

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Manicure before or after drying? Wet trim vs dry trim

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to do this, growers successfully use both methods. There are two schools of thought when it comes to the size of cannabis. Some growers cut their cannabis buds before you dry, and some growers cut their cannabis a little times that heads are already dried.

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Pruning your cannabis before drying is known as a “wet cut” because the leaves are still wet during the cutting process. Pruning after the buds have already dried is known as “dry trimming” since your buds will already be dry before you cut off the “sugar leaves”. Most growers will remove at least all or most of the large fan leaves with their fingers. before drying them, although some growers hang the entire plant upside down without any type of trim.

Prune before drying ("wet cut") when ...

  • You worry about mold
  • You have high humidity (above 60% RH)
  • There are a lot of heads drying in a small space
  • Otherwise you want the buds to dry faster

The second approach, that of pruning that takes place after flowering, “dry pruning”, requires much more skillful and careful work, as the leaves dry out and stick to the flower buds, making the pruning operation more complex. When the flower is dry, careless contact can also damage and drop the trichomes, which are the most potent part of the plant. Having said that, there is also a big advantage of dry trimming, when you wait with the size after drying, the end result will usually be a richer aroma, the type that many consumers prefer.

Cut after drying ("dry cut") when ...

  • You are not worried about the mold
  • You have low humidity (less than 45% RH)
  • You want the buds to dry more slowly (buds that dry too quickly are the number one cause of the "hay smell")
  • You want the buds to be "tighter" or denser
  • You don't mind if the buds lose their burst of color (dry buds tend to lose their green / purple / color and take on undertones of brown or tan)

Save the "sugar leaves"

Sugar leaves are the small leaves that grow from the sides of a cannabis bud. It's not the iconic leaf with multiple fingers, but the little fingers that usually sparkle with trichomes. They are sugar crystal-like glands that get their name from their appearance; and these are extremely important parts of the cannabis plant. This is where most plant cannabinoids (like THC and CBD) and terpenes are stored. It is these trichomes that cut the cannabis, which is left behind after having pruned its buds, precious “waste”. Where some growers would prune those little sugar leaves and throw them away to make their flower more aesthetic.

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As you already understood, the idea of ​​pruning cannabis is to get rid of all the leaves and only keep the inflorescence. But, there is one small exception, there is a shell of leaves called "sugar leaves". Unlike the other leaves of the plant, sugarcane has a higher percentage of active cannabinoids. Sugar leaves are particularly suitable for extraction, for incorporation into edible products.

Manual or mechanized?

Pruning is a Sisyphean activity (endless action) that takes patience and skill, so much so that it has become compulsory labor on illegal cannabis farms in California's famous emerald triangle - the stronghold of the Cannabis growers "mowers" come in the harvest season to prune almost 24 hours. Due to the fact that the phenomenon is so common, it has been called “Trimigrants”, from the language of “immigrants”. While cutting kush might seem like a cushy gig, it's actually one of the toughest jobs on the black market in marijuana, according to one. recent survey from Reveal newspaper.

What are the experts saying?

The commercial industry, which has to deliver goods at a rapid pace, needs a solution that has come in the form of new models of cutting devices that know how to dry dry with minimal damage to flowers, although it also depends on the variety so airy. and less fleshy varieties will tear in such machines. These machines are suitable for the new generation of varieties, plump, compressed and hard, which after 10 minutes spent in the machine come out with a festive haircut.

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Cannabis cutting tools

When it comes to tools, I highly recommend these precision shears. They make the job much easier! We have several pairs of them and use them extensively for cannabis and in the garden, as well as for thinning seedlings. They even come in a non-stick option. I also suggest investing in a "cutting box" to cut your cannabis. It is ergonomic, with hollows for your arms. The bin consists of two parts: an upper screened section to catch any leaf debris you are likely to throw away, and a lower compartment that collects trichomes / keef that fall through the screen. Sprinkle it on your buds or use it to infuse homemade canna oil!

We make up our excess leaf debris, both in a passive compost heap and in our worm bin. Yes, worms love it! Smart little thugs.

Tags : Agriculture / Grow
Weed-master

The author Weed-master

Weed media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.